Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only

WCW


ohtani's jacket
 Share

Recommended Posts

I don't know if the WCW project will happen, but I've been watching a lot of old matches recently, so if you have the time please respond.

 

1. How big of a WCW fan were you during the company's actual run?

 

2. Are you a bigger fan of WCW now or then?

 

3. Best Year/Period for WCW

 

4. Best World Heavyweight Title run

 

5. Best United States Championship run

 

6. Best Tag Team Championship run

 

7. Best Television Championship run

 

8. Best Cruiserweight Championship run

 

9. Best feud

 

10. Most Underrated Feud

 

11. Best Angle or Storyline

 

12. Most Underrated Angle or Storyline

 

13. Best Booker

 

14. Wrestler who had the most surprising run

 

15. A worker they could have done more with

 

16. The worker who's most synonymnous with WCW for you

 

17. The point where Flair got old

 

18. Best Face

 

19. Best Heel

 

20. Most Underrated Face

 

21. Most Underrated Heel

 

22. The worker who was most effective whether they were heel or face

 

23. A worker who turned (heel or face) too many times

 

24. Favourite Commentating Pairing

 

25. Lasting Memory of WCW

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if the WCW project will happen, but I've been watching a lot of old matches recently, so if you have the time please respond.

 

1. How big of a WCW fan were you during the company's actual run?

- I was a huge fan. I would watch Nitro, Thunder, Worldwide, Saturday Night, Pro, Main event anything WCW. I started watching in 96 and watched till the final nitro. I also got the ppvs.

 

2. Are you a bigger fan of WCW now or then?

- Probably then. I still like some of it but a lot of it doesn't hold up.

 

3. Best Year/Period for WCW

- Bash at the Beach 96 till Starcade 1997.

 

4. Best World Heavyweight Title run

- Vader in 1993.

 

5. Best United States Championship run

- DDP

 

6. Best Tag Team Championship run

- The Outsiders in 97.

 

7. Best Television Championship run

- I can't remember many TV champs in WCW other than Arn Anderson.

 

8. Best Cruiserweight Championship run

- Heel Jericho in 97.

 

9. Best feud

-WCW vs NWO from Bash 96 to Starcade 97

 

10. Most Underrated Feud

-Chavo Guerrero vs Shane Helms from 2001.

 

11. Best Angle or Storyline

- DDP as La Parka. I just watched that recently and it's still awesome. In fact the whole DDP/Savage feud is great.

 

12. Most Underrated Angle or Storyline

-MIA vs Team Canada. I know a lot of people hate WCW 2000 but I loved this feud. I was a big MIA fan. Lance Storm was such a great heel vs Hugh Morrus's babyface.

 

13. Best Booker

- Bill Watts and Terry Taylor.

 

14. Wrestler who had the most surprising run

- DDP. You watch him in his feud vs Johnny B Badd in 96 and you wouldn't think he would be a world champion and one of the biggest guys there.

 

15. A worker they could have done more with

-Shane Douglas in 2000. He could have been champion. I still think he's better than Jarrett.

 

16. The worker who's most synonymnous with WCW for you

- Ric Flair. When he was great, WCW was great. When he was bad, WCW was bad.

 

17. The point where Flair got old

- Probably about 1997.

 

18. Best Face

- Sting

19. Best Heel

- A tie between Hogan and Bischoff

 

20. Most Underrated Face

- General Reaction

 

21. Most Underrated Heel

-Jeff Jarrett in 1997

 

22. The worker who was most effective whether they were heel or face

- Ric Flair

 

23. A worker who turned (heel or face) too many times

- Ric Flair

 

24. Favourite Commentating Pairing

- Tony Schivonie and Bobby Heenan. I also liked Tony/Hudson/Madden.

 

25. Lasting Memory of WCW

- The main event at Starcade 97. They were at the top of there game and it all went to hell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. How big of a WCW fan were you during the company's actual run?

- Pretty huge during the NWO run. It single handedly revived my interest in wrestling.

 

2. Are you a bigger fan of WCW now or then?

- Both actually... I was a huge fan from 96-98. I am now a huge fan of the earlier years as well now even though I did not see it when it happened.

 

3. Best Year/Period for WCW

- Kip Frye era/ Dangerous Alliance era

 

4. Best World Heavyweight Title run

- Shit, maybe Vader's run?

 

5. Best United States Championship run

Um...

 

6. Best Tag Team Championship run

- The most memorable was probably the Outsiders but I think the DA had the best teams.

 

7. Best Television Championship run

- Austin had some kickass runs. Booker T-Benoit-Finlay-Martel-Saturn was fun. Regal was awesome.

 

8. Best Cruiserweight Championship run

- Jericho in 1998

 

9. Best feud

- Jericho-Malenko off the top of my head.

 

10. Most Underrated Feud

- Um.. .see above?

 

11. Best Angle or Storyline

- early stages of nWo

 

12. Most Underrated Angle or Storyline

- I have no idea

 

13. Best Booker

- Who knows?

 

14. Wrestler who had the most surprising run

- Bret Hart... in that I was surprised athow mediocre it ended up being.

 

15. A worker they could have done more with

- Eddie of course.

 

16. The worker who's most synonymous with WCW for you

- Rey Mysterio

 

17. The point where Flair got old

- 1994

 

18. Best Face

- Goldberg

 

19. Best Heel

- Chris Jericho

 

20. Most Underrated Face

21. Most Underrated Heel- No idea

 

22. The worker who was most effective whether they were heel or face

- Randy Savage

 

23. A worker who turned (heel or face) too many times

- Randy Savage

 

24. Favourite Commentating Pairing

- Dusty Rhodes and anyone.

 

25. Lasting Memory of WCW

- Good: Jericho introducing cruiser battle royal

- Bad: Fall Brawl 1998

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. How big of a WCW fan were you during the company's actual run?

 

Huge. Even as a kid, I preferred it to the WWF because I liked Flair, Sting and Luger far more than Hogan and Warrior.

 

2. Are you a bigger fan of WCW now or then?

 

Equally both, and I think most of the good stuff holds up very well.

 

3. Best Year/Period for WCW

 

Easily 1992. There were several changes in direction, as was typical for WCW for their entire existence, but 1992 had SuperBrawl II, which I still think is the greatest wrestling pay-per-view of all time. It had great runs from people like Vader, Rick Rude and Sting, and people like Brian Pillman, Ricky Steamboat, Dustin Rhodes, Barry Windham, Steve Austin, Larry Zbyszko, Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton, Ricky (Richard) Morton, Cactus Jack and even Big Josh. I love the period of 2/3 falls main events on WCW Saturday Night. I love the way that Bill Watts closed out shows with tag team title matches and made them the most important belts in the company. Other high points for me are 1989, for obvious reasons, and the summer of 1996, which I think had the most genuine intrigue and shock in terms of booking in main events that any company has ever had. It didn't last, though.

 

4. Best World Heavyweight Title run

 

It would either have to be Ric Flalr in 1989-1990, or Vader in 1992-1993. I think between the two, I'd go with Vader, because Flair was really being booked like a chump toward the end of his run when Ole got booking power.

 

5. Best United States Championship run

 

Lex Luger in 1989-1990, especially during '89 when he was a heel. Luger was more effective at this point in his career than I think he has ever been at any other time. He was having good matches almost constantly, which can be partially but definitely not completely attributed to his opponents. No one held the belt in a way where it seemed like a main event title in the way Luger did. Running neck and neck would be Rick Rude in 1991-1992. The big difference is that Rude had a PPV title defense all of one time and never even defended the belt on a Clash. Rude was at a career peak at this point, but rarely even defended the US title.

 

6. Best Tag Team Championship run

 

Either Doom in 1990-1991 or Steve Williams and Terry Gordy in 1992. There's also the Steiners who had some good stuff as well, but I think Doom were a more consistent tag team, and Doc and Gordy were given more emphasis and had lots of good matches.

 

7. Best Television Championship run

 

Steve Austin in 1991-1992 was pretty synonymous with that belt. He used it to catapult himself to stardom in WCW (yes, I know, he got bigger later but bare with me). Really fun series of matches against Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham.

 

8. Best Cruiserweight Championship run

 

I enjoyed Jericho's immensely, but let's look back at it with some perspective. It's the point when you started seeing screwjob finishes, when it had previously been a title that had pretty much all clean finishes. It pretty much killed the division, because Jericho got away from it the moment he dropped the title because he wanted to be a heavyweight. He basically spent close to a year beating everyone cleanly multiple times with no real payoff, because when the payoff with Dean at Slamboree did happen, they couldn't just let it lie and then started booking the belt pretty horribly. The match quality dropped during Jericho's time as the top star of the division considerably. Give me Eddy Guerrero in 1997, who was every bit the compelling character and had far better matches. I think also, the period of Dean and Ultimo Dragon feuding in 1996-1997 produced more great matches than the division had at any point.

 

9. Best feud

 

Despite any bumps along the way, WCW vs NWO would take this in a cakewalk if there was any type of happy ending even halfway attempted. But there wasn't. So I'm going to go with Ric Flair vs Terry Funk from 1989.

 

10. Most Underrated Feud

 

The whole triangle feud with Raven/Saturn vs Benoit/Malenko vs Rey/Kidman in '99 was tons of fun in terms of unpredictable finishes that made sense and advancing the storyline in a way where every team had a role.

 

11. Best Angle or Storyline

 

Fake Sting turns on Lex Luger in a dark, rainy parking lot, as the NWO tricks everyone into believing it was the real one. The real Sting is so disgusted when he tries to explain himself and no one believes him that he retreats to the rafters and morphs into a completely different character.

 

12. Most Underrated Angle or Storyline

 

DDP vs Johnny B. Badd in 1995-1996, with DDP losing his fortune, his woman and his career. Also loved the match on Nitro where Kimberly had the bouquet of flowers with the chain in it.

 

13. Best Booker

 

Dusty Rhodes. Lots of horrible periods, but lots of really good periods as well. Kinda like his entire career.

 

14. Wrestler who had the most surprising run

 

I don't think anyone expected a returning Rick Martel to be awesome in early 1998, but he was. He was so good at that point, and it's really a shame the run was cut short due to injury.

 

15. A worker they could have done more with

 

Steve Austin is the obvious answer. Bret Hart is the second obvious answer. Bill Goldberg is the next obvious answer.

 

16. The worker who's most synonymnous with WCW for you

 

Easily Ric Flair.

 

17. The point where Flair got old

 

The first time I remember thinking Flair looked old was in 1993, going against Austin and Pillman at that Clash. But I think he still contributed in a good way on and off all the way to the end.

 

18. Best Face

 

Sting or Ric Flair

 

19. Best Heel

 

Hollywood Hulk Hogan. He went into a territory where most of the hardcore fans hated him and he was getting booed out of buildings in places like Charlotte and Atlanta. They were having to do everything from stage fake parades, to hand out signs and merchandise, to pipe in crowd noise, just to make it seem like he was over. They finally went with it and he was more effective than he had been in years and began drawing money. WCW itself was a great heel as well. They knew how to constantly piss off their fans and draw heat.

 

20. Most Underrated Face

 

Eddy Guerrero gets a lot of credit for his run as a heel, but in 1995-1996, he was also very over as a face. WCW surveyed their audience in 1996 to see who fans thought was the most likable wrestler. Eddy Guerrero won, which shocked them.

 

21. Most Underrated Heel

 

Maybe Luger in '89? It's hard to think of someone here.

 

22. The worker who was most effective whether they were heel or face

 

Ric Flair.

 

23. A worker who turned (heel or face) too many times

 

Ric Flair, Lex Luger, The Giant

 

24. Favourite Commentating Pairing

 

Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura

 

25. Lasting Memory of WCW

 

The company that managed to be great at times, and horrible at times, all in spite of itself. People who didn't understand wrestling were interfering in day-to-day operations from pretty much day one of their existence, but they still had more and better wrestling than the WWF until 2000, when the Radicals jumped. It's also the company that probably screwed up more things on live television than any company ever. There are a million things you can say "Only in WCW ..." about. Which makes me want to add a question.

 

26: Favorite "Only in WCW ..." moment

 

Definitely a strap match taking place with cats o'nine tails being used instead of belts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. How big of a WCW fan were you during the company's actual run?

It's not that I wasn't a fan - far from it - it's just that I feel I never fully appreciated them when they were around, and I kinda regret it now. Wish I had started watching sooner than I did, wish I didn't spend so much of the time I was watching them thinking how much better off thus-and-such underappreciated wrestler would be in the WWF, etc. But I watched them pretty regularly from the time Nitro went on the air until I finally gave up during the Russo era. Nothing really made me realize what an ingrate I had been until everything on the show that was worth watching was gone.

 

2. Are you a bigger fan of WCW now or then?

Definitely now, for reasons outlined above.

 

3. Best Year/Period for WCW

Kip Allen Frey/Bill Watts period.

 

4. Best World Heavyweight Title run

Either Flair in '89-'90 or Vader in '92-'93. Might be worth noting that in most of those really great Flair/Steamboat matches, Steamboat was champion.

 

5. Best United States Championship run

I have a feeling that a WCW Project would give me a better answer to this question that whatever I could come up with now.

 

6. Best Tag Team Championship run

See above. This one's especially tricky, because there was a lot of great tag team wrestling at various points in WCW, and very little that I remember that was done when the belts were actually on the line. At least, not enough to make, say, The Steiners stand out to me from the Miracle Violence Connection or Windham and Rhodes or Benoit and Malenko or whatever.

 

7. Best Television Championship run

Man, I really have a hankering for a WCW Project.

 

8. Best Cruiserweight Championship run

Poor booking was kinda the hallmark of everything WCW did, so I'm not sure it's entirely fair to hold that against Jericho. As far as an individual reign goes, it's his in '98 that stands out to me as the best, because it was the first time that I felt they had taken the quality wrestling of the cruiserweight division and injected it with the kind of face/heel drama that could have taken the division to the next level. Okay, not really the first time, but the first extended period of time. Let's not forget the whole Eddy/Rey thing played out over the course of about a month. Jericho wasn't the best worker ever to carry the belt, but he was no slouch, and his heel schtick was aces.

 

9. Best feud

WCW vs. The Dangerous Alliance

 

10. Most Underrated Feud

In terms of company recognition: Lord Steven Regal vs. The Belfast Bruiser

In terms of critical recognition: Okay, my recollection here is pretty vague, but I seem to recall a mini-feud on Saturday Night between Benoit/Malenko and the Armstrongs, including one match where the Armstrongs cut a pre-match promo where they ostensibly turned heel, and I was kinda intrigued by the notion of them doing a 1-2-3 Kid/Barry Horowitz "jobber suddenly starts winning" angle with the jobbers as heels. It didn't quite happen that way, but I do recall the matches being really good.

 

11. Best Angle or Storyline

Hulk Hogan turns heel, is revealed as The Outsiders' secret partner

 

12. Most Underrated Angle or Storyline

In terms of company recognition: The Belfast Bruiser tracks down Steven Regal, beats the shit out of him during a Saturday Night squash

In terms of critical recognition: I don't know if it's so much that it was underappeciated than that it was appreciated and we just forgot about it because of it's abrupt and tragic ending, but Scott Hall taking Louie Spicolli under his wing as a fledgling nWo member, and Spicolli's constant tormenting of the announce team was pretty great for the five seconds it lasted before Spicolli OD'd.

 

13. Best Booker

Ummmm....Watts?

 

14. Wrestler who had the most surprising run

I agree with Tim Evans that DDP's career arc was pretty unlikely.

 

15. A worker they could have done more with

All of the above, pretty much.

 

16. The worker who's most synonymnous with WCW for you

Ric Flair

 

17. The point where Flair got old

1993, but it should be noted that this isn't the point where he got bad. Just old.

 

18. Best Face

Sting

 

19. Best Heel

Hogan, warts and all.

 

20. Most Underrated Face

By the company: Sting, oddly enough

By the critics: I think there have been a lot of people - including the man himself - who were really wrapped up in this notion that Ric Flair had to be a heel that they failed to notice that he was constantly one of the most over faces in the company pretty much from the moment WCW came into existence. Certainly, his most valuable periods for the company came with him as a face, and I'm inclined to think that the unwillingness to book him as one long term hurt them just as much as some of their other, more talked-about failings.

 

21. Most Underrated Heel

By the company: Steve Austin ;) , though in terms of what they were actually doing in the company at the time, probably Jericho

By the critics: Hogan, oddly enough

 

22. The worker who was most effective whether they were heel or face

Ric Flair

 

23. A worker who turned (heel or face) too many times

Ric Flair

 

24. Favourite Commentating Pairing

Ross and Ventura

 

25. Lasting Memory of WCW

A great promotion that, sadly, could have been so much better

 

26. Favorite "Only in WCW ..." moment

Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage vs. The Alliance to End Hulkamania - Tower of Doom Match, Uncensored '96

 

And if I may add one more....

 

27. If only....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. How big of a WCW fan were you during the company's actual run?

 

I was a WCW Fan before there was WCW. The WWF was the "enemy" back then.

 

 

2. Are you a bigger fan of WCW now or then?

 

Probably then. The 80s Crockett set and a 90s WCW project will be interesting in terms of whether it ages well for me or not.

 

 

3. Best Year/Period for WCW

 

If we're counting from when Turner bought out Crockett, then 1989 of course.

 

In the 90s, there was the period of brief hope around Fry as boss and the Dangerous Allience. It's odd in highsight that we all thought Watts would be a savior to take it to the next level, but he pretty quickly ended what a lot of us liked.

 

 

4. Best World Heavyweight Title run

 

Flair runs from the buyout to 07/07/90 and Vader's runs from 07/12/1992 to 12/27/93.

 

Flair wasn't really the same after getting the ball back from Sting, and at the time I found all of his big singles matches (the two vs. Fujinami, and the ones vs. Eaton and Steiner on the Clashes) to be pretty disappointing. I don't know if there's enough other stuff to salvage that period. The only thing of any note that pops up on CMPunk's list is:

 

Ric Flair vs Brian Pillman WCW Sat 4/13/1991 13:24

 

Don't think that's enough. He was fine in the War Games, but I've always thought Pillman and Windham were the stars there.

 

It's a bit of a cheat to go back to July 1992 for Vader, but it did give you a preview taste of Vader on top in WCW. The Sting title change was very solid. He was perfectly fine in dropping the title to Simmons. Also get his King of Cable stuff that way.

 

 

5. Best United States Championship run

 

A cheat would be Barry from the buyout to 02/20/89. That's one thing were really should date exactly - when the buyout happened in 1988. It was before the Clash and Starcade of December 1988. They had been negotiating for ages on it. Anyway, Barry had the matches with the MX (with Flair), Bam Bam, Luger in the title change, and the Flair & Barry vs. Steamer & Eddy... along with some other stuff mixed in there. Short, but nice.

 

But as odd as this seems so many years after the fact, I'll go with Luger's long run with the belt from 02/20/89 to 07/14/91, broken up by a couple of weeks of Hayes having it (that title change was a blast) and the two months Hansen had it (dittos). I don't know how I can explain it... but the title meant more in that run that it ever would again, and Luger felt like the best muscle head worker at the time (excluding guys like Rude who were a different beast). I'm not sure if that's going to hold up... frankly I ended up finding Hogan's stuff in the WWF more watchable than I thought I would. But Luger at the time seemed to be a decent top heel opposite Steamer, surpringly against Rich, against Pillman, when he turned back face he had a run opposite Flair, also had the fun match against Spivey. A lot of that was the opponent being good, but Luger seemed to hang and bring some stuff to the table. He seemed to be working harder in that stretch than the rest of his career, perhaps inspired by competition from/with his friend Sting for the top spot.

 

 

6. Best Tag Team Championship run

 

Midnight Express 05/19/90 - 08/24/90 with the US Tag Titles. You could really stretch this back to the US Tag Tourney in Feb with their matches against the R'n'R and Pillman & Zenk, and extend it to their Havoc match against Morton & Rich. One nice last run of a great team, most of it in the middle of the US Tag Title picture at a time when it looked like it would be a cool rebirth of the titles.

 

 

7. Best Television Championship run

 

This will be interesting to watch. Someone really should do a TV Title set, which would be a shitload of matches and feuds going back to Tully winning the title in April 1985.

 

Arn's long run from 01/02/90 to 05/19/91 struck me as disappointing at the time. Lots of solid stuff, but nothing that really grabbed you. It's possible that it will age well, as I'm really happy with "solid" these days.

 

Austin had his long run from 06/03/91 to 09/02/92... but at the time I just didn't go ga-ga over it. Austin struck me as a pretty pedestrian bumping heel, with everyone coming up of that type in that long era (from Hennig in the AWA to Shawn in the WWF to Austin in WCW and later Trip) seemed knock off of Flair rather than a truly new and exciting type of a heel. It's one reason why Vader was so exciting once he became a great worker - he was wildly different from the standard bumping heel we were getting fed, though ironically he was a great bumper for his size... he just avoiding being an overbumper like Bam Bam.

 

I'll be interested to see how I like Regal's run of 09/19/93 to 09/18/1994. Honestly it did nothing for me at the time. But I did come to like Regal a lot more later, especially his run in 1997.

 

I wonder if Booker's series of runs from 12/29/97 to 07/13/98 will end up looking the best. The Martel stuff was surprisingly watchable. There's the Benoit series that dominates it. I don't remember the Fit Finlay series, but I can't imagine that sucked. I tend to think this was a pretty good run... maybe it will age okay.

 

8. Best Cruiserweight Championship run

 

Dean's run from 05/02/96 to 02/23/97. Rey had a four month run in there, and Dragon had a month. But Dean was the anchor on the "rudo" side, and Rey was the face anchor. This also may not age well... but I think there's a lot of stuff in here that may age better than some of the more spotbu stuff as time went on.

 

I never was a big fan of a common way Dean would work with Rey - utterly dominate him for 13 minutes and then let Rey try to cram all his moves into 2 minutes. I liked Dragon's work with Rey at WWIII where while Dragon dominated, Rey got brief runs before Dragon cut him off and took control. On the other hand, Rey really sold like a motherfucker for Dean's control.

 

Anyway, this was a period where a lot seemed possible... even as we knew that there were forces aimed at holding them back.

 

 

9. Best feud

 

Flair-Steamboat in 1989... I guess. Or Vader-Sting.

 

I enjoyed the Dangerous Alliance vs. WCW Faces feud a good deal, even though I thougt Paul spent most of the time trying to get himself over more than his heels.

 

 

10. Most Underrated Feud

 

Probably the Dangerous Alliance vs. WCW. The problem is... it didn't draw.

 

 

11. Best Angle or Storyline

 

nWo, which includes Sting going into the rafters. It went on way freanking too long. But it did its job early.

 

 

12. Most Underrated Angle or Storyline

 

The Alliance.

 

 

13. Best Booker

 

To a degree that Flair team in 1989 to early 1990.

 

I don't think any of the bookers were really that good. Part of that was outside forces impacting the bookers.

 

 

14. Wrestler who had the most surprising run

 

Luger's heel run in 1989. Book turning into a singles performer.

 

 

15. A worker they could have done more with

 

Tommy Rogers. He was with the company when Turner bought it. He was let go.

 

 

16. The worker who's most synonymnous with WCW for you

 

Flair, for better and worse.

 

 

17. The point where Flair got old

 

He actually started to feel old in late 1989, if I had to point to anything it would be the I Quit matches with Funk. I think part of it was having the book as well as having to carry the main events... it just seemed to age him.

 

As far as time passing him by, that was the case when he returned to WCW from the WWF. Vader on top, and Ric doing the same old shit, just made Ric look pedestrian.

 

 

18. Best Face

 

Steamboat. Less for his work opposite Flair, but overall through the years. Excellent singles face, and terrific tag face.

 

 

19. Best Heel

 

Probably Hollywood Hulk Hogan. An absolute master on so many levels.

 

Vader was great. Rude was a very strong heel. To a degree it's sad that WCW was so down in the period because guys like Vader and Rude in their WCW primers could have drawn a lot against super over faces in super over promotions. They just really had "it".

 

The MX & Jimbo turned back heel for a short run before leaving, and of course were great.

 

I think Hall & Nash were pedestrian heels. I think without Hogan, or someone of that level in that role pulling it off that well, the whole thing would have run its course by Starcade 1996. The Outsiders really weren't drawing big before Hogan's turn. Frankly no one else could have done it. Hall & Nash didn't make their opponents look good, and often made them look bad.

 

 

20. Most Underrated Face

 

Barry gets more credit for his face run prior to 1988 than after returning to WCW. Prior to the knee injury, Barry was a excellent face when working as a face.

 

 

21. Most Underrated Heel

 

Barry. He gets more credit for his heel run in 1988-89. He was a very effective heel after coming back and before

 

 

22. The worker who was most effective whether they were heel or face

 

Barry was the most effective one who flipped back and forth.

 

Eddy was better flipping back and forth in the WWF.

 

 

23. A worker who turned (heel or face) too many times

 

Lex was always the answer for this. :P

 

 

24. Favourite Commentating Pairing

 

Ross & Cornette. Not that we got it very often.

 

 

25. Lasting Memory of WCW

 

Rodman laying his head on the turnbuckle in San Diego.

 

 

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. How big of a WCW fan were you during the company's actual run?

 

Humongous. They were the anti WWF. After being a fanatic WWF fan for a while, I became disgusted with it. The manager interference, all the stuff that made you roll your eyes back in your head. It was hard to keep track of my favourites like Bret, Warrior, Rooster, Haku, Perfect. I wanted a more sportish and serious feel to my wrestling.

I found the WCW (thanks Bret) thanks to their Worldwide show on at about 2 or 3 oclock in the morning on NBC after Saturday Night's Main Event which myself, my brother and sister loved. We didn't have cable at that time. At that time, I think cable may have just started becoming available. So it was only once in awhile when we'd leave the tape running all night long at a relative's place that we'd get to see WCW. And when I did I was blown away by the more serious feel, the angles, the wrestling and the intensity. I saw the Great Muta tap someone out with an Indian Deathlock/bridge and it absolutely blew my mind. Muta was unbelievably awesome at the time for a 13 yr old youngster. I saw the Road Warriors for the second time ever and they did an awesome squash of a smaller team. Flair vs Gilbert. Terry Funk/Cruise commentary. Actual competitive matches. Cool music. Pillman vs Stan Lane and a tennis racket to the throat. Highlights on New Year Knockout. I remember footage of Luger going crazy with Pillman in the torture rack. Joe Pedicino knows. Sting coming down to the ring on crutches and slapping Luger to motivate him to destroy Flair. I absolutely loved it.

 

2. Are you a bigger fan of WCW now or then?

Definitely than. I taped every nonsquash match I could find on TV. I watched WTBS completely scrambled.

 

3. Best Year/Period for WCW

1989 perhaps

 

4. Best World Heavyweight Title run

Not really sure.

 

5. Best United States Championship run

 

Lex Luger or Ravishing Rick Rude

 

6. Best Tag Team Championship run

 

Steiners by a long shot.

 

7. Best Television Championship run

 

Regal. Regal vs Steamboat/Mark Starr/Pillman.

 

8. Best Cruiserweight Championship run

 

Malenko. The matches against Dragon and Rey.

 

9. Best feud

 

Don't know really. I liked a lot of stuff and one doesn't stick out from the others for me.

 

10. Most Underrated Feud

 

Don't know

 

11. Best Angle or Storyline

 

I loved it when Steamboat came back and teamed with Dustin. WCW vs New Japan was my personal favourite.

 

 

12. Most Underrated Angle or Storyline

 

 

 

13. Best Booker

 

Way too many variables

 

14. Wrestler who had the most surprising run

 

I don't think anyone surprised me.

 

15. A worker they could have done more with

 

Rip Rogers, Benoit and Eddie.

 

16. The worker who's most synonymnous with WCW for you

 

Sting

 

17. The point where Flair got old

 

About 98or 99 is when he started to slow down but he was still really good even than.

 

18. Best Face

 

Steamboat

 

19. Best Heel

 

Ravishing Rick Rude. Check out his last match against Sting in Japan for a fantastic example of how to be a heel.

 

20. Most Underrated Face

 

Sting.

 

21. Most Underrated Heel

 

Ravishing Rick Rude

 

22. The worker who was most effective whether they were heel or face

 

Benoit, Eddie

 

23. A worker who turned (heel or face) too many times

 

Luger of course.

 

24. Favourite Commentating Pairing

Ventura and Ross or Tony. Depends. Cruise and Funk.

 

25. Lasting Memory of WCW

Fun through frustration at times. Especially after 94.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. How big of a WCW fan were you during the company's actual run?

-- I was a pretty big fan, but kind of out of circumstance up until the 90's. I was just really into wrestling and would watch it anytime that WCW was on. I have fond memories when I was younger of all of the weekend wrestling . I lost track of WWF in about late '95/early '96, then the nWo came on the scene and it really seemed exciting and my interest in WCW went from background stuff on the TV to me watching it intently. It led to me getting fully back into pro-wrestling at the time.

 

2. Are you a bigger fan of WCW now or then?

-- Maybe now, but most likely then. If I still had like a billion hours of WCW to watch a week there is no doubt that I'd be a huge fan now, even though its all over and done with. I supported TNA for the first few months because I was just hoping that it would turn into WCW as it had lots of people involved with WCW onboard at first, and then it just went to absolute shit.

 

3. Best Year/Period for WCW

-- Wrestling-wise or angle-wise? WCWSN was pretty much always awesome, and Nitro almost always had lots of fun matches. I'd say everything up until Russo was great.

 

4. Best World Heavyweight Title run

-- Maybe Vader... Whats funny is I don't remember much from the top of the card that I was really hardcore into.

 

5. Best United States Championship run

-- I really loved the whole Raven/Saturn/DDP stuff. So I guess you could say DDP's first reign.

 

6. Best Tag Team Championship run

-- I loved the Steiners as champs, and dug the feud with the Outsiders.

 

7. Best Television Championship run

-- Regal by a long shot.

 

8. Best Cruiserweight Championship run

-- Jericho. I remember somebody posted a huge best of Jericho set on YouTube a while ago and I watched about half of it, and holy shit I don't care it was Jericho.

 

9. Best feud

-- Jericho/Malenko or the Raven/Kaynon/DDP debacle.

 

10. Most Underrated Feud

-- Shit I don't know

 

11. Best Angle or Storyline

-- The harrowing of Sting.

 

12. Most Underrated Angle or Storyline

-- Jericho/Saturn with Saturn ending up in a chainmail dress. C'mon.

 

13. Best Booker

-- There were tons, but just to get this on the table.. Jimmy Hart booking WCWSN for the last few years where it was basically just Powerplant guys and some old vets and jobbers and it was amazing.

 

14. Wrestler who had the most surprising run

-- DDP. DDP was a guy that was WCW to the core and really couldn't exist outside of WCW. There were tons of guys like that. I mean, who the fuck was Prince Iakea? He wasn't that good, but he had some good matches in WCW then I never heard anything of him ever again.

 

15. A worker they could have done more with

-- This list is endless, but Jericho.

 

16. The worker who's most synonymnous with WCW for you

-- Sting or Flair. Hell, both of them.

 

17. The point where Flair got old

-- The stupid heart attack angle maybe? But he still bounced back.

 

18. Best Face

-- Sting

 

19. Best Heel

-- I'd say Flair, but Hogan as a heel was just insane for the time. He was the Hulkster, best known for taking your vitamins, saying your prayers and eating your Pasta-O's... Then they turned him into an asshole and it fucking worked.

 

20. Most Underrated Face

-- DDP. The gambling man who lost all of his money and ended up on the streets, saved by a Nitro girl, then came back, ditched Max Muscle and had a tremendous face run, battling it out with Raven, the nWo (namely Macho Man), got stuck in some awful celebrity matches and somehow made them kinda fun.

 

21. Most Underrated Heel

-- Hogan. He was the catalyst that pushed the nWo over the top, but people will rarely talk about him as being the big deal in the nWo and instead just talk about the whole angle itself.

 

22. The worker who was most effective whether they were heel or face

-- Flair. Flair could be the cocky champ on top and Flair could be the crazy old man banding together with past enemies to fend off the nWo from the company that he helped establish.

 

23. A worker who turned (heel or face) too many times

-- The Giant. Baaaack and forth back and forth

 

24. Favourite Commentating Pairing

-- Anything involving Dusty.

 

25. Lasting Memory of WCW

-- That no matter what it always felt different. For some reason they could pack a bunch of matches into a 2 hour television show and it wouldn't feel rushed at all. WWF was never able to do this. Even when they were blabbing about some shitty angle in the booth, there was still a Fit Finlay match going on, and they'd still snap out of it and call the match, treating it like it was important. They had a shitload of titles and for some reason just about all of them felt unique and important.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John, I was curious if you could provide some insight on a couple of things:

 

(1) Lex Luger. I've recently gotten my hands on all the WON issues from 1987-1992. Meltzer was never afraid to criticize Lex, but also seemed to be a pretty big fan of his at one time. I remember seeing him jump up and clap when Luger won the US title at Chi-Town Rumble, and also for several of his power spots throughout the match. Obviously, at some point, that ended, and Luger earned the rep of being a disappointment. When did that change in rep happen? Was it as a result of him dogging his run when he finally got the title? Was it a result of him juicing himself up to the gills at SuperBrawl and embarrassing Frey after Frey was making a big deal out of implementing a new drug testing program? In 2000, when Meltzer ran the biggest PPV draws ever, Luger was #6 on the all time list, ahead of guys you wouldn't expect like Foley and Taker (admittedly, Foley and Taker are probably ahead now because they've both headlined big shows since that time). But my question is this -- what was the general hardcore fan consensus of Luger at that time? If it was good, did something specific happen to make it drop off? Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Luger a better drawing opponent than Sting on house shows between '88 and '90?

 

(2) Luger vis-a-vis Sting. Between the two, who did WCW feel was their best bet for the future? I'm talking in terms of late 1989 here, after both had good years and Flair was starting to show age. It seemed to alternate at times, and I know Flair seemed to have far more faith in Sting than Luger, but how did the hardcores feel at the time? Were they split? Who did everyone think had the brightest future at the time?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know you're addressing John here Loss, but hopefully you don't mind if I throw in my two cents.

 

(1) Luger used to be a somewhat motivated worker, a fresh powerhouse in WCW who had a career without a glass ceiling ahead of him. However, he did what many do, stopped caring. His overall skills plummeted, and he IIRC, started refusing to do jobs for people, and even no sold continiously. Luger certainly had the potential to be a mega-superstar, but his laziness stopped it dead in it's tracks.

 

(2) I'd say Sting. He was charismatic, a company yes man, sold merchandise like crazy, and could go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand what actually happened with both Luger and Sting. My question involves Luger's rep among WON readers and tape traders of the time, and how and why it changed.

 

Sting is an easy answer in retrospect, but there were obviously times when the promotion clearly had more faith in Luger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This will be tough since I didn't get TBS until 1996 but I'll try:

 

1. How big of a WCW fan were you during the company's actual run?

Didn't have much access to the product other than Worldwide and the Apter mags. From what I remember I really would have been into 1991/1992 if I could have seen all the main shows. Was a big fan during the initial NWO angle and for pretty much the first (and only) time I preferred it to the WWF product.

 

2. Are you a bigger fan of WCW now or then?

Then. Looking back I can't get around all the mistakes they made and they have no one to blame but themselves.

 

3. Best Year/Period for WCW

from when Nitro first went on the air until they started the Piper/Hogan program

 

4. Best World Heavyweight Title run

This is when it's going to get tough. So I'll say Vader in 92

 

5. Best United States Championship run

Rick Rude

 

6. Best Tag Team Championship run

Steiners

 

7. Best Television Championship run

This is easy since he fought on Worldwide all the time. Steve Austin

 

8. Best Cruiserweight Championship run

Rey in 96 I guess

 

9. Best feud

WCW v NWO

 

10. Most Underrated Feud

Ray Traylor v Vader and Sting v Regal come to mind

 

11. Best Angle or Storyline

NWO invades WCW

 

12. Most Underrated Angle or Storyline

can Sting trust Luger from the early days of Nitro

 

13. Best Booker

Dusty

 

14. Wrestler who had the most surprising run

Rick Martel fighting over the TV title in early 98. Goldberg during his initial streak.

 

15. A worker they could have done more with

Bret Hart, Eddy

 

16. The worker who's most synonymnous with WCW for you

Flair

 

17. The point where Flair got old

1996 during the initial NWO stages

 

18. Best Face

Sting in 96 and 97

 

19. Best Heel

Hogan

 

20. Most Underrated Face

Booker T

 

21. Most Underrated Heel

Giant as a monster heel

 

22. The worker who was most effective whether they were heel or face

Flair

 

23. A worker who turned (heel or face) too many times

Luger, Giant, Flair

 

24. Favourite Commentating Pairing

Schiavone and Heenan I guess

 

25. Lasting Memory of WCW

NWO angle being booked perfectly early on but not being able to properly blow it off.

 

Only WCW..

The Disney tapings

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. How big of a WCW fan were you during the company's actual run?

 

I was a big NWA fan growing up, so it was natural I would be a fan of WCW. I preferred their presentation to that of the WWF. It wasn't as slick, but in a way that's kind of how wrestling should be.

 

 

2. Are you a bigger fan of WCW now or then?

 

You know, it's funny now that it's gone it's as if I took WCW for granted. I never thought there would be a time where there wouldn't be 2 national wrestling promotions, so there's a lot of WCW stuff that I missed. For one, I know I stopped watching WCWSN once Nitro started and turned Saturday Night into a primarily jobber filled show. Now of course I realize all the awesomeness I missed by doing that.

 

 

 

3. Best Year/Period for WCW

 

95-97 had the best matches and the hottest angles.

 

 

4. Best World Heavyweight Title run

 

Have to agree with everyone else here with Vader.

 

 

5. Best United States Championship run

 

Have to go with Luger, he was the hottest guy in the company at the time.

 

 

6. Best Tag Team Championship run

 

I'd go with the Steiners, just because the Outsiders run annoyed me so much how they'd lose then Eric would make the other team give them the belts back.

 

7. Best Television Championship run

 

I always liked Rick Steiner's run, just because him beating Mike Rotunda was a great feelgood wrestling moment.

 

8. Best Cruiserweight Championship run

 

I always liked Dean's myself. His run as the silent wrestling machine who took on dudes from around the world was pretty much the first and last time the belt had any meaning.

 

 

9. Best feud

 

nWo vs WCW

 

 

10. Most Underrated Feud

 

Eddie vs pretty much any cruiser. It was always taking a backseat to whatever the nWo was doing, but his match would end up being the best on PPV.

 

 

11. Best Angle or Storyline

 

The metamorphosis into Crow Sting was one of the best crafted stories ever until it came time for a blowoff (which became a WCW trademark itself).

 

 

12. Most Underrated Angle or Storyline

 

The New Blood vs Millionaires Club was better than it had a right to be, but it gets forgotten because a lot of people were fast forwarding WCW at that point.

 

 

13. Best Booker

 

I'm assuming Eric was booking in 96, and since the nWo was the biggest angle in history you have to give it to him.

 

 

14. Wrestler who had the most surprising run

 

Hollywood Hogan. I would have never believed he would turn heel in a million years, let alone end up where he did with it.

 

 

15. A worker they could have done more with

 

Seems as if they could have done more with Regal than to be a perennial TV title contender.

 

 

16. The worker who's most synonymnous with WCW for you

 

To me, Sting was the epitome of WCW. Not only was he there for the whole ride, but like the company itself he was always a solid #2 who never seemed to get over the hump.

 

17. The point where Flair got old

 

The feud with Austin/Pillman was the first time (that I recall) that his age was brought up in a storyline, but to me Flair was never the same after that period he was off TV because of his feud with Bischoff.

 

 

18. Best Face

 

Sting was pretty much the main babyface of WCW from beginning to end.

 

 

19. Best Heel

 

 

Hogan, easily.

 

 

20. Most Underrated Face

 

Steve McMichael. He gets crapped on, but he was one of those guys who seemed to recognize his limitations. He came from a completely different background and was able too hold his own.

 

 

21. Most Underrated Heel

 

 

 

22. The worker who was most effective whether they were heel or face

 

Booker T

 

23. A worker who turned (heel or face) too many times

 

Lex will be the popular answer, but to me it was The Giant. They pretty much derailed his career since he changed sides almost weekly.

 

 

24. Favourite Commentating Pairing

 

Tony/Bobby/Tenay was one of the best. Unfortunately, two-thirds of that team often didn't give a shit.

 

 

25. Lasting Memory of WCW

 

Sadly, my lasting memory of WCW will be of a company that time and time again couldn't close the deal when it came to angles. After a while, the fans had nothing to cheer for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John, I was curious if you could provide some insight on a couple of things:

 

(1) Lex Luger. I've recently gotten my hands on all the WON issues from 1987-1992. Meltzer was never afraid to criticize Lex, but also seemed to be a pretty big fan of his at one time. I remember seeing him jump up and clap when Luger won the US title at Chi-Town Rumble, and also for several of his power spots throughout the match. Obviously, at some point, that ended, and Luger earned the rep of being a disappointment. When did that change in rep happen? Was it as a result of him dogging his run when he finally got the title? Was it a result of him juicing himself up to the gills at SuperBrawl and embarrassing Frey after Frey was making a big deal out of implementing a new drug testing program?

Not 100% certain if I could pinpoint it.

 

There was a comment by Dave as far back as Feb 1990 with the Flair-Luger (subbing for the injured Sting) where Dave mentioned Luger worked better as a heel, but was good in the match. There were other positive comments about Luger in later Clashes and PPV's that year, though not the regular ones he'd gotten as a heel the year before.

 

Pretty clearly some point during 1991 saw the sheet readers turn a bit. He finished 6th in the Most Unimproved, which isn't a massive turn... but not a positive. He wasn't Flair, and he got turned back heel to be the anchor of WCW after Flair was fired. Not a great role to be in. I seem to recall his defenses at Havoc and on one of the Clashes (I want to say Rick Steiner and Simmons) were pretty okay.

 

Bash: Luger vs. Barry ***

Havoc: Luger vs. Simmons ***1/2

Clash: Luger vs. Rick **1/2

 

Luger came into the November Clash match banged up from what Dave called an blown spot earlier in the week with Zenk. He didn't recall crap on the match too much, saying Lex was off, it was a booking clusterfuck, and that they were in a crappy spot after the hot tag title change and hot Sting-Rude angle earlier in the card.

 

But I suspect this is the time frame where the sheet fans started thinking less of him. Earlier in the year was the match with Spivey (credited to Spivey for making it hot by doing a lot of shit, but Lex was willing to let him) and the tag match with Sting against the Steiners that followed the same mode.

 

 

 

In 2000, when Meltzer ran the biggest PPV draws ever, Luger was #6 on the all time list, ahead of guys you wouldn't expect like Foley and Taker (admittedly, Foley and Taker are probably ahead now because they've both headlined big shows since that time).

I suspect this was due to Lex main eventing things like the Bash and Starcade in 1988 and the two PPVs opposite Flair in 1990 that did buyrates that look impressive in hindsight, but really weren't shit at the time give the clearance of WCW. :)

 

But my question is this -- what was the general hardcore fan consensus of Luger at that time? If it was good, did something specific happen to make it drop off? Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Luger a better drawing opponent than Sting on house shows between '88 and '90?

My recollection is that Luger outdrew Sting opposite Flair by miles in 1988. 1990 was such a mess that I don't know if the data is useful.

 

For why I think things changed, see above. It stayed changed because Lex seemed to show few moments in the future of wanting to work much. I think WON readers could have been forgiving to Lex if he turned it around... or sustained turning it around. Lex wasn't thought of as the Warrior, and since he made his bones in the NWA/WCW, I think there would have been some praise if he turned it around. There may have been moments (did he have some title changes with Bret that were surprisingly okay?). But there wasn't much there.

 

 

(2) Luger vis-a-vis Sting. Between the two, who did WCW feel was their best bet for the future? I'm talking in terms of late 1989 here, after both had good years and Flair was starting to show age. It seemed to alternate at times, and I know Flair seemed to have far more faith in Sting than Luger, but how did the hardcores feel at the time? Were they split? Who did everyone think had the brightest future at the time?

If I were *Vince* and was looking for a successor to Hogan who wasn't another 6-5 juiced out of his mind guy, I would have taken Sting. Not saying Sting wasn't juiced big time. He just didn't wear it like Warrior or Warlord or the Road Warriors or Lex. I think Sting would have been perfect for the WWF as a replacement to Hogan, working a bit different style of booking. Hogan in the era pretty much needed to be undefeated. I think with the evolving number of PPVs, and the booking around them, you needed a little more flexibility with the belt as the 90s dawned... and Sting with a strong promotion behind him could have withstood dropping the belt and re-starting a chance without it.

 

Would give one more flexibility with opponents than one had with Warrior or Hogan. You could run a Hennig at a Sting if the promoting was done right. Against Hogan, no one bought Hennig because of the size gap.

 

For WCW, as an anchor face between the two, I would have to take Sting. As a heel, of course Luger since Sting couldn't work heel at that point.

 

The problem with both is - What do you do with them?

 

Beats the crap out of me. Sting was better without the belt than with it. Luger was better as the eternal credible US Champ than as World Champ, and I don't think that ever was going to change.

 

The company was loaded with Catch 22's.

 

Flair was the best "world champ", but it was clear by 1990 that there wasn't anything left in that tank in that respect. One can say that he was the best in that role, but if he's not drawing and you don't have any fresh faces to run at him who might draw, then it's a waste. The sadder fact is that the rapidly deminishing fanbase, very few anymore who would pay to see house shows, were largely Flair Fans to some degree. Flair Fans, or Flair "Haters" in the sense that he was a heel they cared about. So not having Flair was going to shot yourself in the foot, at least initially.

 

There really wasn't anyone they could steal to put in that role that would turn the company around.

 

DiBiase had spent so many years as the Million Dollar Man that I'm not sure folks would be the old heel Ted (who they didn't know) coming in to be World Champ opposite Luger, Sting, Pillman, the Steiners, etc.

 

Rude came back from the WWF an improved worker, and with loads more comfort working promos and angles. But getting pushed instantly to the World Title in 1992 with Luger leaving... I think too many people remembered Warrior kicking his ass. Getting slotted in as US Champ opposite Sting and Steamboat helped reset the minds of the fans on him, but I don't know if it made them think he was World Title material. When he finally got Gold, it's not like it ment anything to the fans.

 

Hennig... Hart... I don't think stealing them would have given the promotion a Flair replacement.

 

There really wasn't anyone inside the promotion for the role.

 

Kind of a fucked spot to be in. One of the reasons Vader was so "effective" one he got on a role - he was a different beast.

 

Spinning it around in the other direction, I don't think the company had any other faces that were at that moment going to get over more with their fan base than Sting and Lex were.

 

The company was in a pretty brutal spot. I think one could have one "better" than what they did through much of the 1990-94 era, but I'm not sold that it would have been big box office. It would have had to entail heavily rethinking the product and business.

 

 

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. How big of a WCW fan were you during the company's actual run?

Big fan, from the beginning of '94 to the end (as much of a fan as one could be towards the end, which wasn't much).

 

2. Are you a bigger fan of WCW now or then?

The same, I guess? WCW Saturday Night hit the spot then, and I'm guessing it'd hit the spot now.

 

3. Best Year/Period for WCW

'89 and '96 are probably better answers, but I'll take the first six months of '94, the period where I became a fan. You had a topcard of Flair, Sting, Vader and Rude, an uppercard of Traylor, Austin, Steamboat and Dustin, and a TV title scene featuring Regal, Pillman, DDP and Johnny B. Badd. With Cactus/Sullivan and the Nasties in the tag ranks, Robert Fuller as an ace heel manager and Arn holding it all together as always. Just a helluva wrestling company -- it's amazing how quickly it soured when Hogan and his cronies came in.

 

4. Best World Heavyweight Title run

From what I've seen, Flair's '89 run. Vader may be my favorite worker ever, so I'm expecting that'll change when I start watching old shows.

 

5. Best United States Championship run

Nobody really jumps out. Luger seemed like a good match for the belt in the '89 stuff I've seen, so him, I guess.

 

6. Best Tag Team Championship run

Steiners sounds right. No great reigns in the Nitro era, though there were some great feuds for the belts.

 

7. Best Television Championship run

I'll go with Booker's multi-reign run in '98. Good matches, several good feuds, and from the moment he pinned Disco, it just had that satisfying feel of a guy hitting his stride and climbing the ladder. The roster was also laughably bloated with fun midcard guys at the time, so he had a more interesting variety of opponents than TV champs from the early nineties.

 

8. Best Cruiserweight Championship run

Eddie, fall of '97 -- I don't care how short it was. Jericho was definitely fun, but he was consistently having the worst matches of anybody in the division.

 

9. Best feud

I was all about those Vader/Traylor matchups.

 

10. Most Underrated Feud

DDP vs. Johnny B. Badd. Just a really fun silly little midcard feud, with story moves and whatnot.

 

11. Best Angle or Storyline

Gotta be the NWO, no matter how badly it fizzled out.

 

12. Most Underrated Angle or Storyline

Dusty teaming with his son against the Studd Stable. My favorite promo ever.

 

13. Best Booker

I dunno. That '94 run felt well-booked, so whoever that would've been.

 

14. Wrestler who had the most surprising run

DDP's probably the right answer, but I'm gonna go with Blitzkrieg. He came out of nowhere, went back just as fast, at a time when the Big Two wasn't trolling the (non-ECW) indies that energetically. Weird little blip on the radar, that dude was.

 

15. A worker they could have done more with

The jobbing out of Psicosis was definitely the one that bothered me most week to week. In terms of business, as ridiculous as it sounds, they probably should've gone to Flair more often than they did in the last five years of the company.

 

16. The worker who's most synonymnous with WCW for you

Arn.

 

17. The point where Flair got old

If you ask me, the day he was born. Always been a weird, weathered-looking dude. His work got worse, but verrrry slowly, at least in WCW.

 

18. Best Face

Happy neon Sting. Fuck the haters. I dug him.

 

19. Best Heel

Vader. Hogan was a good heel, but people are forgetting his endless, dreary Nitro promos.

 

20. Most Underrated Face

Dustin really was a fun face, especially against big heels.

 

21. Most Underrated Heel

Bischoff.

 

22. The worker who was most effective whether they were heel or face

Naitch.

 

23. A worker who turned (heel or face) too many times

Luger and the Giant tie for first. That shit was dizzying.

 

24. Favourite Commentating Pairing

I'm a sucker for Schiavone and Heenan. Schiavone was really good when he wasn't "history of our sport"ing. Ross was obviously better, though.

 

25. Lasting Memory of WCW

Just the look of the WCW Saturday Night Studio. Intimate, unapologetic rasslin'. Good times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. How big of a WCW fan were you during the company's actual run

 

Casual from '89 to '92, then pretty much disengaged until '96, then huge from mid-'96 to early '99.

 

2. Are you a bigger fan of WCW now or then?

 

I'm a bigger fan of the early '90s stuff now than I was at the time. I'm less interested in the later stuff, though I still enjoy watching the old Nitros on 24/7.

 

3. Best Year/Period for WCW

 

'89 was great for the stuff going on at the top. '96 and '97 were the years I got back into wrestling so I have warm memories. But at this point, I love '92. They had so much talent and it felt fresh because Flair was away for a bit.

 

4. Best World Heavyweight Title run

 

Vader in '92-'93 was the greatest monster champion I've seen.

 

5. Best United States Championship run

 

Can't say I have clear memories of that many, but Luger's run was the best period in his career. I dug the stuff in '89 where he was frustrated at being held down by Steamboat and Funk.

 

6. Best Tag Team Championship run

 

Not sure. I guess the Outsiders, but their matches weren't any good. I really enjoyed the Dustin/Windham and Dustin/Steamboat pairings, but I can't remember how long each team actually held the belts.

 

7. Best Television Championship run

 

Regal was my favorite TV champ and to this day, I'd be thrilled to watch him wrestle every week.

 

8. Best Cruiserweight Championship run

 

Probably heel Jericho in terms of character, though Eddie and Rey obviously had better matches.

 

9. Best feud

 

Vader/Sting ruled. Dangerous Alliance against the rest of the roster was great.

 

10. Most Underrated Feud

 

Regal/Finlay isn't underrated now but I didn't get how cool it was at the time. Same goes for the Dangerous Alliance stuff. I really enjoyed Pillman against Windham.

 

11. Best Angle or Storyline

 

The NWO saga seemed earth-shattering at the time, and I thought they did a good job stringing along the Sting in the rafters bit (albeit with a crappy payoff.) I loved the devolution of Jericho into a whiny egotist.

 

12. Most Underrated Angle or Storyline

 

Nothing is leaping to mind.

 

13. Best Booker

 

Don't know.

 

14. Wrestler who had the most surprising run

 

Not sure how to answer this. I hadn't paid attention to wrestling at all in '95 and early '96, so I was surprised and amazed at the things Rey could do when he got his first big exposure on Nitro. I guess DDP's ascent to the top of the card was pretty surprising.

 

15. A worker they could have done more with

 

Hart. Austin at the end though I thought they did plenty with him in his earlier years.

 

16. The worker who's most synonymnous with WCW for you

 

Flair, though I'm not sure he was actually the best performer on the roster at any point in the '90s (maybe in 1990.)

 

17. The point where Flair got old

 

When I look back, I see the signs in 1990, but in real time, I didn't see it until '94. I don't enjoy those late matches with Steamboat.

 

18. Best Face

 

Steamboat was one of the greatest faces in wrestling history. Later WCW swung so dramatically to the heel side that it gets harder, but I loved Rey as a face.

 

19. Best Heel

 

Hogan. I tuned in for years hoping to see him get his comeuppance. Vader was a great monster but that made me like him, not root against him.

 

20. Most Underrated Face

 

I underrated Dustin at the time, but he's not underrated anymore.

 

21. Most Underrated Heel

 

Rude has come to be appreciated but I missed his excellence at the time. Barry Windham could seem like the most vicious bastard in the world and might not get quite enough credit for it.

 

22. The worker who was most effective whether they were heel or face

 

Windham. I can't think of a more versatile wrestler. Not only could he switch sides, he could do all sorts of gradations of heel or face.

 

23. A worker who turned (heel or face) too many times

 

Giant, Flair, Luger, Hart. No great insight there.

 

24. Favourite Commentating Pairing

 

Ross and Ventura.

 

25. Lasting Memory of WCW

 

Despite all the nonsense, they were much more progressive than WWE about putting different types of excellent workers into showcase spots. I discovered most of my favorites from the last 20 years by watching WCW.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the responses.

 

1. How big of a WCW fan were you during the company's actual run?

 

As a kid, my only exposure to WCW came in the form of Apter mags and some commercial tapes (a few Starrcades, the '89 PPVs, the first few Clashes and some Crockett, Great American Bash stuff)... New Zealand had been an NWA "territory," where the NWA champ toured, most notably Harley Race, who outdrew Muhammad Ali in 1979 for his fight against "High Chief" Peter Maivia (Auckland having a large Pacific Island community.) But that was dead by the time the WWF Super Stars boom happened... I seem to recall its promoter, Steve Rickard, trying to cash in on Super Stars, but nothing came of it. He did release some commercial tapes form his "private" collection, however. Mainly Hawaii stuff.

 

My parents had gone to the weekly "On The Mat" TV tapings, so they were actually familiar with some of the guys who ended up in the WWF. WWF was a massive playground phenomenon in my country, which peaked, I guess, with the Ultimate Warrior/Hogan match at Wrestlemania VI. WCW had some appealing characters (Flair, Sting, the Road Warriors), but it didn't have the production values, so it came off second rate... And more importantly, it wasn't on TV.

 

Later on, when I got back into wrestling, I used to watch WCW Worldwide every week on satellite. I enjoyed that a lot, but at heart I was a WWF fan. When WCW became a threat to WWF, particularly after Montreal, I was against WCW.

 

2. Are you a bigger fan of WCW now or then?

 

Definitely now... Nowdays, I can enjoy WCW for the workers and the matches. There were always workers I enjoyed in WCW during the Monday Night Wars, but the whole WCW vs. WWF thing overshadowed that... Particularly when I first got the internet... Perhaps I used to go to the more "markish" boards, but I honestly believe internet wrestling discussion is better *now* then it was then. I remember the first Tuesday morning when WWF "won" the ratings battle after the Vince vs. Austin w/ one armed tied behind his back angle, it was like the Red Sox winning the World Series or something.

 

3. Best Year/Period for WCW

 

Either 1989 or 1992.

 

I'm tempted to go with 1989... Everything that year seemed hot, from the moment Gilbert introduced Steamboat as Mr.X through to Flair forcing Funk to quit... I was watching Flair/Sting vs. Slater/Muta the other day and that match has incredible heat for what was basically a Flair/Funk lead in. Luger had his awesome heel run, Muta was well protected for a guy who was only in the "territory" a short time, the tag division was consistently booked... It all came together on the Great American Bash PPV. For a long time, people regarded GAB '89 as the greatest PPV ever. WCW had better matches in '92, better PPVs and probably better TV too, but 1989 feels like it had bigger moments with a smaller roster.

 

4. Best World Heavyweight Title run

 

Flair from late '88 to 1990 had the benefit of Ross' calls... The greatest NWA champion of them all, the man who dominated professional wrestling in the 80s, etc. Even when Flair was a heel, he'd tell the plane crash story and put over Flair as a wrestler and his reputation in the business... I think by the time Vader was champion, the belt didn't mean as much as it did in the late 80s.

 

5. Best United States Championship run

 

I definitely agree that Luger had the best United States championship run... Luger was a great heel in '89. It wasn't hard to buy that he was arrogant & he even cut decent promos. As others have said, he worked harder at this point than any other time in his career, but I think it should be noted that his good matches were against guys who bumped well... I was really disappointed with the Hansen matches. Most of all, Ross put the US title over in every match. Almost as much as he put over a guy's football career.

 

6. Best Tag Team Championship run

 

This is actually pretty difficult, as most teams had short runs. I think I'll go with Gordy & Williams, since they unified the NWA and WCW tag team titles. Regardless of how good they really were, they felt like a dominant tag team. The Steiners vs. Gordy & Williams still feels like a big deal to me.

 

7. Best Television Championship run

 

I only caught the tail end of Austin's run. Watching Worldwide every week, the answer has to be Lord Steven Regal.

 

8. Best Cruiserweight Championship run

 

I have no idea how the Malenko vs. Mysterio, Jr. feud holds up, but Malenko's three reigns during the first year of the WCW Cruiserweight champion seems like the best era for WCW crusierweights. Mysterio, Jr. holding the belt was a bigger deal, however. I'd say he was the best champion.

 

9. Best feud

 

At the moment I'm digging Flair vs. Luger. They had four really strong matches from Starrcade '88 through to Clash of the Champions XII. Ross sold the whole thing really well -- constantly praising Luger for his accomplishments in this great sport of ours since winning rookie of the year, working up the dynamic of Flair having dominated the 80s and Luger potentially dominating the 90s... Nothing about these matches bothers me, not Luger's endless flexing, the Ric Flair Show, the Dusty finishes or the Horsemen beatdowns (who doesn't dig Flair, Arn and Windham beating up Luger?)... even Sting inadvertedly costing Luger the title worked for me.

 

Flair vs. Luger was never a match-up I wanted to watch. I'd have rather watched Flair vs. Windham, Gordy or Ricky Morton, anything where the other guy was a good worker too. In fact, I always believed that the Flair of 1990 wasn't as good as the Flair of 1989. But that's not really the case. Flair's promos from before and after the cage match are classic. I know there's a Ric Flair Show, but damnit if I don't wanna see it every time. Having said that, I thought Flair really mixed it up against Luger. He even nailed his top rope move.

 

10. Most Underrated Feud

 

I've only seen bits and pieces, but Team Rhodes vs. The Stud Stable is something I want to see more of.

 

11. Best Angle or Storyline

 

Probably Hogan's heel turn, but my favourite angle is the post-match stuff from Wrestle War '89. Funk was amazing.

 

12. Most Underrated Angle or Storyline

 

Hmm, nowdays New Zealand satellite TV shows the full RAW and Smackdown shows shortly after they air in the States (at least they used to, I've been gone for two years), but back in 1999 we got one hour digest versions of Nitro and RAW. 1999 was a shitty year for wrestling, but I remember watching the Nitro from Canada that was basically clipped to a pretty good Rey/Kidman vs. Malenko/Benoit tag and the Bret/Goldberg angle, where Bret wore the steel vest. That was a fucking great angle and a great hour of wrestling TV.

 

13. Best Booker

 

Whoever was on the '89 team -- Flair, Jim Ross??

 

14. Wrestler who had the most surprising run

 

Luger had a shockingly good run of matches in 1989.

 

15. A worker they could have done more with

 

Pillman and Dustin Rhodes come to mind. Austin, too, but he would've never become Stone Cold Steve Austin in WCW. Pillman and Rhodes were great, young workers who were WCW guys. Nowdays one is remembered for dying in the WWF and the other is more famous for being Goldust.

 

On the flipside, WCW was a place where guys like Greg Valentine could get a new gig.

 

16. The worker who's most synonymnous with WCW for you

 

Either Flair, Sting or Hogan. If Flair had never left, I'd say it was Flair outright. Hogan completely dominated the WCW landscape from '94.

 

17. The point where Flair got old

 

I don't think he was ever the same after he came back from the WWF, but before that Herd making Flair cut his hair was awful. Fucking awful. The only ring WCW work I've seen from Flair in '91 is Wargames and the 4/91 grudge match against Pillman. His work there was much better than in the WWF.

 

18. Best Face

 

Either Sting or Steamboat. The litmus test for any face should be how many cheesy angles or promos they can be involved in and still remain over. I was really impressed that Pillman could be over with El Gigante as his best friend.

 

19. Best Heel

 

Tempted to go with Flair and the Horsemen, Windham or Terry Funk, but Vader was on an absolute rampage when I first got into Worldwide.

 

20. Most Underrated Face

 

Dustin Rhodes. Less so after Dustin of the Day, which was a huge eye opener, but still Dustin.

 

21. Most Underrated Heel

 

Arn Anderson. I was gonna say Larry Zybszko, but his best stuff was partnered with Arn. Arn's always been pretty loved, but I don't think people appreciate what a great performer he was.

 

22. The worker who was most effective whether they were heel or face

 

Windham. I dunno why any face would trust Windham, but he was great in equal measures whether he was a heel or face.

 

23. A worker who turned (heel or face) too many times

 

Flair, Windham, Luger, the Giant... The faces were dumb to trust these guys.

 

24. Favourite Commentating Pairing

 

Ventura and Ross. Jesse worked less of a heel commentator gimmick in WCW and he'd drop all this wrestling history... I loved it when his old vendetta against Steamboat would creep into the commentary. Schiavone is way less annoying these days. I actually feel a bit sorry for Tony.

 

25. Lasting Memory of WCW

 

It was a place where good workers could wrestle good matches, but they couldn't book angles/feuds anywhere near as well as WWF.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dave Meltzer posted this at WC:

 

Regarding Luger and Steamboat, I talked to Steamboat regularly in 1989 when they had their great matches and Steamboat told me in specific that Lex called the Philadelphia and Baltimore matches, which were the two best ones of the series. He said Lex didn't want to call them because Steamboat was the veteran, but Steamboat told him that the heel calls.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Plenty of people have had bad matches against Flair and Steamboat, though.

 

Luger also had good matches with Tommy Rich, had the best Dick Murdoch match of Murdoch's entire '89 run, had the best match of Ranger Ross's life, was having fun, competitive matches with LEE SCOTT of all people on Worldwide, had a contender for best Michael Hayes singles match ever ... Luger was the man at that point, especially when he started wearing the gladiator outfit with the steel plates on it.

 

In '89, he was also a strong interview.

 

HHH has had a better career than Luger, but I'm not sure peak HHH is better than peak Luger.

 

Luger was already starting to fall in '91. He still had the occasional good match, but bulked up to a ridiculous degree (seriously, at SuperBrawl II, he looked like he had put 30 lbs of muscle on an already huge frame) and after coming back, he never really hit his stride again.

 

I do think his heel/face at the same time run in early '96 was the closest he ever came to getting back to that level, and even that was a pretty far drop.

 

I also think Luger got really good as a result of working with Flair all the time. Watch the Bash '88 main event. Then, watch the Starrcade '88 main event. The difference in Luger's ability to work is pretty night and day within those five months.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haven't seen the Wahoo match, but I know there was controversy at the time, because they put their main title on Luger when he had only been a pro for 19 days.

 

I think Luger/Pillman was a strong series of matches. I think even as he started breaking down, Lex typically had decent matches with smaller, high-flying guys. There's an Eddy Guerrero match from early '96 on WCW SN worth seeing, where he reverses a Splash Mountain into the torture rack.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...